Saturday, 7 December 2013

Winter thermals at the Dyke.

Flight diary details

Date of Flight: 
6 Dec 2013

Takeoff site: 
Devils Dyke

Wing Type: 
Rigid HG

Wind Direction: 
WNW

Wind Strength: 
15-20mph

Sky: 
Cu

Thermic activity: 
Moderate

Pilots present: 
20-30
A surprisingly good day at the Dyke on Friday. I wasn't expecting the weather to be that nice, as rasp predicted a fairly low level cloud. But I was eager to fly my new VR for the second day so arranged to meet a few other guys there. Quite a big turn out for the hang gliders and a few pg's and speed wings in the afternoon too. The morning was a little bumpy and I took my time to sort out some of my tuning of the VR. Under Steve cooks recommendation I moved the hang point back about an inch and noticed in the air that the glider felt even more composed with 15degree of flap and when you let it off the speed didn't run away from you too much. I also marked the flap string as I spent far too long wondering what position they are at when I'm flying. These two small adjustments made the afternoons flying much nicer. I was able to take some weak thermals up and back behind the hill, even when they weakened out to zeros- I was just trying to stay with it and judge it so I get back to the hill just above it, however this never worked and the glide kept astonishing me even in a fairly strong wind, I would hardly loose anything on the glide back to the hill!
The afternoon was about 15mph wnw, I thought I would try to head towards truleigh and see what the glider was capable off.... It was incredible! Although I didn't make it all the way- it went a long way down the ridge, just hopping back up on the tiny bits of ridge that were creating a bit of lift.
There were about 12 gliders in the air by mid afternoon, it was great fun. The only thing with the dyke this time of year is the low sun around that time of day which makes visibility looking across to the west of the ridge RUBBISH! As the wind started dropping, the gliders where starting to scurry into the landing field with some of the flex's going down if they didn't get back on top in time. However Youngie and I were able to mince around at 200ft when the pg's were now trying to scratch and maintain on the ridge. Eventually Youngie got down to 75ft ato where he knew it was time to take the top Landing, but I felt no urgency as the VR was happy to continue floating at 100ft ato for another 15 minutes. It feels incredible to fly, the performance is astonishing, I spent another 4 hours in the air and would have stayed up for longer if it wasn't starting to get dark. Looking forward to the next day already... Hopefully peachy beachy next week.

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